Ask the Telecom Pro
Q: Are non-profit organizations exempt from paying telecom taxes?
A: Non-profit hospitals, educational organizations, state governments, local governments and government instrumentalities are exempt from federal excise tax. States have specific provisions for exempting organizations from state and local telecom taxes. Filling a tax exempt certificate with each telecom carrier is required to authorize carriers to not collect exempted taxes; however, it is the customer’s responsibility to evaluate tax exemption status and qualifications. If federal excise taxes have been collected for an exempt qualifying organization in the past, then IRS Form 8849 can be filed to recover taxes paid.
Q: Is mobile device insurance worth the cost?
A: List prices for smartphones and tablets are on the rise and replacement insurance is worth considering to protect the investment. Many insurance plans have premiums and deductibles, so evaluating the total potential cost of repair or replacement against the cost of a new device should be calculated to determine if it is a cost effective option. Alternatively, businesses often maintain spares or refurbished units to replace units damaged before the scheduled end of life date. Another alternative is to purchase reclaimed devices as replacements from asset disposition and recycling vendors.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.